Misfit Shine vs Misfit Shine 2 – A Review

The Misfit Shine lives up to its name; it is very much a misfit among the vast array of app-enabled fitness and activity trackers, which are now available but it somehow manages to ‘shine’ through. Leaving terrible wordplay to the side, the Misfit Shine is an eye-catching and well made wearable, which follows in the footsteps of the Jawbone UP24  in that it is not immediately apparent what it does and could be mistaken for fashion accessory.

Misfit Shine 2 price when reviewed: $79.99

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Features

The Misfit Shine does everything we have come to expect from an activity tracker from monitoring walking, cycling, swimming, and sleep; setting goals, analysing stats, etc. One of the coolest features of the Misfit Shine is simple and intuitive way that it syncs; place it on the screen of your iPhone and it will do so as if by magic (a feature that was highlighted in one of the most recent Apple ads for the iPhone 5S).

Accessories

The Misfit Shine is customisable with a range of stylish accessories ranging from silicone sports bands, leather strap a magnetic clasp, and pendant necklace.

Misfit Shine

 

Misfit Shine

 

Misfit Shine

 

Misfit Shine

 

Meet Misfit Shine 2

The popular, sleek Misfit Shine fitness tracker has been selling well and garnering positive reviews since it was first announced on Indiegogo and then made available in 2013. Still, two years is a lifetime in the wearable tech world. So much has changed with regards to technology, competition, and what customers want in a wrist-worn device. Misfit released its lower-cost Flash last fall, but there haven’t really been any updates to its hallmark tracker.

Until now, that is. Misfit announced plans for an upgrade that builds on its already awesome product. But if you’re looking for another clever, super hero-inspired name from Misfit, well, we’re sorry, but you won’t find it here. It’s called the Shine 2.

Will Misfit’s sequel be as great as the original? Let’s take a look at the next step in this franchise.

Misfit Shine vs Misfit Shine 2

Misfit bills its latest iteration of Shine as “thinner, stronger, smarter.” What does all this mean? Well, for starters, the Shine 2 weighs 8.5g with the battery installed, or about a gram lighter than the original — not entirely significant, but it’s still about 10% less weight. Using the Misfit app, users can now tag specific activities to go with their workout session. Both syncing and the device’s responsiveness to user taps are faster too.

Also new on the Shine 2 is Misfit Move, a little reminder to get moving when you’ve been idle too long. It also works with the Misfit Link app to boost functionality, and users can integrate their Shine 2 with other smart devices like Bolt smart bulbs or the Beddit sleep monitor using IFTTT recipes. Finally, the Shine 2 attaches much more securely to its band. Lots of original Shine owners lost their little disc of a tracker not to irresponsibility, but simply due to the fact that it wasn’t attached to its strap very well.

The Design

misfit-shine-2Design-wise, there was a lot to like about the Shine, and there’s still a lot to like about its new little brother. They look remarkably similar, and that’s a good thing, as the shiny industrial look of Misfit’s original tracker has always been a refreshing alternative to the comparable sporty, rubbery, chunky looking devices on the market. It’s made of anodised aircraft-grade aluminium, so you know it’s durable. However, while the Shine comes in ten colours, the Shine 2 is available in just two: Carbon Black and Rose Gold (the latter of which is quickly becoming the brushed steel of the mid-2010s).

Also like the original, there’s no real display on the Shine 2. Instead, it uses understated and elegant LED lights (12 of them) to show you your progress toward the daily goal that you’ve set. Just tap the centre of the disc, and they’ll illuminate; see them all, and you know you’ve hit your mark. This, we think, has always been a great compromise between the digital readout faces of some trackers and the faceless rubber band aesthetic of others. If you want a great looking tracker, you really can’t go wrong with the Shine 2 (or anything made by Misfit).

Function is Still King

misfit shine 2As a tracker, the Shine 2 is as good as any on the market. It uses a three-axis accelerometer to keep tabs on the usual metrics: steps taken, calories burned, distance travelled, and sleep. It can wake you up with a smart alarm, and it can give you smart notifications too. It’s also water resistant to 50 metres, so you can go swimming with it, leave it on when you take a shower, and generally not have to worry about getting it wet.

Another thing you won’t have to worry about is charging, as the Shine 2 (like the original) is powered by a button cell battery that needs replacing only every six months. As for smartphone compatibility, the Shine 2 will sync with iOS 7 and above as well as most Android devices running Jellybean or later. Serious runners will want to note that there’s no onboard GPS, however, so while it will give you accurate distance information, you won’t be able to analyse your route or get the precision you would with a tracker containing a built-in GPS sensor.

The New Tracker Landscape

When the original Misfit Shine was released in 2013, fitness trackers were more of a novelty. Now, they’re everywhere! It seems like everyone’s got a device strapped to their wrist, clipped to their clothing, or strung around their neck. We all know about our steps. We count our calories. We analyse graphs about our sleep quality. And we’re much more savvy consumers.

The competition today is also a lot more fierce than it was two years ago. In 2013, Fitbit was the big name in the game, with a few devices by Nike, Jawbone, and Polar thrown in for good measure.

Today, the market has exploded!

Navigation companies like Garmin and TomTom are legitimate contenders, Withings has some choices, Jawbone has a handful of options, and well-funded younger companies like MOOV and Atlas are snapping up market share, even Fossil is catching up. And then there’s the Apple Watch, which is like a fitness tracker on steroids.

Still, the Shine 2 should be able to hold its own, coming in at a competitive price point and with great looks and capabilities.

Essential Reading: The Best Fitness Tracker 2015 – Fitbit, Jawbone, TomTom, Garmin and more

Price and Availability

The Misfit Shine 2 retails for £79.99, a highly competitive and largely reasonable price, given all that it does. Compared to Jawbone’s UP wristlets and the Fitbit Charge, the Shine 2 is definitely affordable. There’s no exact shipping date given yet, but you can buy the Shine 2 on the Misfit website with a promise to get it in “early November 2015.” And, at its lower price point, it seems like Misfit is hoping that consumers will think it makes a great Christmas gift for tracker obsessed friends and family members.

It should also be noted that Misfit has lowered the price of the original Shine tracker to around £50. Plus, the company has also released the Misfit Speedo Shine for £79.99. This, as you may have guessed, is a swimming-specific tracker that will count laps for you. With an increased number of Misfit options available, this could be Misfit’s best holiday season ever.

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